New Delhi: After two years, the Government of India revoked provisions of the Disaster Management Act for COVID containment measures, as per the order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday (March 23). The order copy signed by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla reads that after taking into consideration the overall improvement in the situation and preparedness of the Government to deal with the pandemic, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has taken a decision that there may not be any further need to invoke the provisions of the DM Act for COVID containment measures.
Accordingly, after the expiry of the existing Ministry of Home Affairs orders dated February 25, 2022, no further order may be issued by the MHA.
However, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) advisories on COVID containment measures, including the use of face masks and hand hygiene, will continue to guide the overall national response to the pandemic.
I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at the local level, as advised by MOHFW from time to time, the Home Secretary said in the order.
He also advised States and UTs to discontinue the issue of orders and guidelines under the DM Act.
I would, therefore, advise all the States/UTs to consider appropriately discontinuing issue of orders and guidelines under the DM Act, 2005 for COVID containment measures. The States/UTs may continue to follow the SoPs/advisories that have been or are being issued by the MoHFW from time to time for COVID containment measures, vaccination and other related aspects, including observing COVID Appropriate Behaviour, he said in the order.
Since March 24, 2020, on the direction of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Ministry of Home Affairs has been issuing Orders and Guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, (DM Act) 2005, for the containment of COVID-19 in the country.
The Central Government, in close coordination with the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations (UTS), has taken various proactive measures to deal with the unprecedented global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MHA order further reads that over the last 24 months, significant capacities have been developed for various aspects of management of the pandemic, such as diagnostics, surveillance, contact tracing, treatment and vaccination, hospital infrastructure and the general public has a much higher level of awareness on the COVID appropriate behaviour.
States and UTs have also developed their own capacities and systems and implemented their detailed State/UT specific plans for managing the pandemic, over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases, it said.
The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28 per cent. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.